Story opening lines examples

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The opening line of a story is like a key that unlocks the door to a new world. It sets the tone, captures the reader’s attention, and entices them to keep reading. A great opening line can make a reader laugh, cry, or shiver with anticipation. It can introduce a character, a setting, or a conflict that will keep the reader engaged throughout the story. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best story opening lines examples and why you should keep reading. Whether you’re a writer looking for inspiration or a reader searching for your next great read, these opening lines are sure to captivate you.

Story Opening Lines Examples: How to Hook Your Readers

As a writer, you know that the opening lines of your story are crucial. It’s the first impression you make on your readers, and it can make or break their interest in your story. That’s why it’s important to craft your story opening lines carefully. In this article, we’ll share some story opening lines examples that can help you hook your readers and keep them engaged.

What Makes a Great Story Opening Line?

Before we dive into story opening lines examples, let’s first discuss what makes a great opening line. A great opening line should do the following:

– Grab the reader’s attention
– Create intrigue or suspense
– Set the tone for the story
– Introduce the protagonist or main character
– Establish the setting or time period

Story Opening Lines Examples

Now that we know what makes a great opening line, let’s take a look at some story opening lines examples:

1. “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” – 1984 by George Orwell

This opening line from 1984 immediately sets the tone for the story. The fact that the clocks are striking thirteen creates a sense of unease and sets up the dystopian world that the story takes place in.

2. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” – The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

This opening line from The Hobbit introduces the protagonist and sets up the fantasy world that the story takes place in. It also has a whimsical and playful tone that sets the stage for the adventure that’s about to unfold.

3. “Call me Ishmael.” – Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

This opening line from Moby-Dick is short and simple, but it immediately draws the reader in. It creates a sense of mystery and makes the reader curious about who Ishmael is and what role he plays in the story.

4. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” – A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

This opening line from A Tale of Two Cities sets up the historical time period that the story takes place in, as well as the contrasting themes that will be explored throughout the story.

5. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This opening line from Pride and Prejudice sets up the social norms and expectations of the time period, as well as the central theme of marriage that the story revolves around.


Crafting a great opening line is essential to hooking your reader and keeping them engaged throughout your story. By following the guidelines we’ve outlined and studying these story opening lines examples, you’ll be well on your way to writing a captivating opening line that draws your readers in and keeps them reading.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good opening line for a story?

A good opening line for a story should grab the reader’s attention and create intrigue. For example, “It was a dark and stormy night” is a classic opening line that immediately sets a mood and creates suspense.

How do you write an effective story opening?

To write an effective story opening, consider starting with a strong hook that captures the reader’s attention. You can also introduce the setting or main character in a compelling way. Additionally, try to establish the tone or mood of the story early on. Finally, make sure to avoid cliches and overly-used opening lines.

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